“Categories” is an easy-to-teach game for a warm-up or a rehearsal break; participants try to think of as many things as they can that fit into a particular category.

Game Type: Warm-up

Age Range: 7+

Number of Participants: 8-20

Materials: None

How to Play: Participants sit in a circle and begin a one-two rhythm (Clap-snap, or slap(legs)-clap). One person says, in rhythm, “I am thinking of …..” whatever the category is, and then says something that fits the category. On the second beat after the first person, the second person says something that fits the category, and so on around the circle.

Example:

“I-am-thinking-of-kinds-of-fruit” (Clap) “Apple”

(Clap) “Orange”

(Clap) “Strawberries”

(Clap) “Banana”

(Clap) “Watermelon”

It is okay if saying the category items takes longer than one beat, because of multiple syllables, but the participants are not allowed to pause for more than one beat between the end of the last person’s item and their item. Everyone continues this process until someone gets stuck or repeats an item. When this happens, the participants start over with a new category. The leader can time the game or count answers to see how long they can continue.

Notes: The category chosen depends on the ages and interests of the participants. A younger, less experienced group could play for a while with a category of “different kinds of candy”, while a high school drama club might have fun with “names of playwrights”. The leader should explain that the objective of the game is to keep the category traveling around the circle as long as possible, even if the participants who get stuck or repeat are out. This way, the participant choosing the category won’t be encouraged to come up with an obscure one that only he knows several answers to.